Once upon a time, my kids (and my class) had a wonderful, well-loved book by Richard Scarry called “What Do People do All Day?”, where the newspaper-editor pig sat at his typewriter, wearing his eyeshade. Was there also a large lady hippo, lying on a sofa, with a scroll and a bunch of grapes by her side, or is that just the illusion so many people have of the writer's life?
For those interested in such details, my TO DO list today is something like this:
*Contact four separate schools to speak to a member of staff about sessions and schedules for a writing project. (Last week I did leave a number and message at two of the schools, but they haven’t rung back yet. )
*Reply & negotiate with a school who sent a detailed visit outline, but which doesn’t fit the way I work or distance I have to travel.
*Reply to three emails asking me if I am free on World Book Day, please. (I’m not.)
*And asking could I give full details of what I do, and how much I charge. (The answer is in the Author Visit section of my website.)
*Contact the organiser of an event where my audience that was 3 sessions for Early Years & Reception classes is now 4 sessions for 60 babies and toddlers and parents and carers.
*Contact a writer I met yesterday, forwarding some urgent information before I forget.
*Contact a Festival Organiser urgently about needing accommodation. And also a librarian.
*Emails/cards of thanks to three librarians, two schools, and someone at the BBC.
*Email a publicity picture and personal “blurb” to a festival organiser.
*Create two invoices & post.
*Renew my “Visiting Author” Insurance.
*Calculate mileage for an event where the finance has to be applied for beforehand.
*Check multimap for directions to an imminent event. This is not something you leave to the night before, especially in this weather. (Luckily they have a new detailed print-out showing all the junctions en route.)
*Check multimap for directions to the four schools at the start of this list, and then work out a realistic starting time for the days.(Unluckily, multimap still gives timings that are about two-thirds of the time needed.)
*Unpack, check and repack my “Talk-Bags” of books & rough proofs and so on that accompany my visits.
*Look over a revised short text an editor has worked on, and comment.
*Contact editor with a requested story idea for an anthology.
*Wash wearable clothes, as I now have nowt that I could go visiting in.
*And do some of that . . . what’s it called now? . . . ah, yes! WRITING WORK!
Sorry if this sounds crabby. I do know how hard it is to organise all that an event needs, or to get a whole school staff to agree their sessions, and I do like doing all kinds of visits and being with children, but sometimes the admin seems to take up all my usable time. However, with publishers taking months to get contracts and money sorted, sometimes it’s the need for real cash that counts. Grouch over. Dilemma still existing.
So what can I leave till tomorrow, so I can write today??? Well, there’s that ABBA posting . . .